Friday 29 September 2017

Letter claiming to be from ASIC scamming Australian businesses

A letter has been making the rounds recently claiming to be from the ‘ASIC Messaging Service’ encouraging the reader to renew their Australian business name. This letter unfortunately is a scam, phishing personal details from unsuspecting business owners.

This letter is well-crafted and has very few typos or grammatical errors unlike other more obvious scams. The email address it is sent from, ‘asic.transaction.no-reply@ato.gov.autsl.com’, also seems legitimate. However further investigations reveal the domain ‘autsl.com’ was only very recently registered with a Chinese registrar and the email address is not associated with any official Australian Governmental entity.

Clicking on the link provided in the email will download a malicious JavaScript file, which could steal the user’s private information from local internet browsers, and install itself onto the user’s computer for further information gathering.

The scam is especially convincing because the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) does indeed maintain a register of Australian companies and business names.

You can find more details about renewing your Australian Business name at http://asic.gov.au/for-business/renewing-your-business-name/, or by getting in touch with your contact at AJ Park.

If you receive a letter like this, what should you do?

If you have registered an Australian business name and receive a reminder about renewal, take special care to check that the reminder you have received is authentic before paying any fees.

Before you pay any request for money, take a moment to search the name of the entity that is requesting fees from you to see if they have already been reported as a scam. If you find nothing and you still have doubts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

AJ Park manages any deadlines and communications regarding the intellectual property you have filed through us, so if you are ever unsure about the authenticity of any mail you receive, please forward it on to your contact at AJ Park. We commonly receive these, and we are more than happy to let you know when a letter you have received is a scam.